Social Security Keeps Millions of Seniors Out of Poverty

When Social Security was passed in 1935, all people knew of it was that it was a tax. It meant less money in people’s paychecks. Yet, it was the promise of security in old age or disability that gave the policy the popular support necessary to make it the law of the land, despite the negatives.The promise of a better future was key, for more than half of seniors in 1935 were living below the poverty level. Everyone must have personally known seniors, likely their own family members, who were suffering in poverty. Their eyes saw the importance of their future, not the immediate 1% reduction in their paycheck. Today, Social Security still keeps its promise. It’s no longer labeled a socialist threat, a job killer, or any of the other negative labels its opponents gave it in 1935. It’s virtually untouchable today. Some 90% of seniors take a benefit from Social Security. The poverty level among seniors is about 9 percent today.

Without Social Security, nearly half of all seniors would live in poverty.

That according to a report from the CBPP: [1]

“Without Social Security benefits, 44.4 percent of elderly Americans would have incomes below the official poverty line, all else being equal; with Social Security benefits, only 9.1 percent do.  These benefits lift 15.3 million elderly Americans — including 9.0 million women — above the poverty line.”

In Nevada, that amounts to 114,000 seniors who are kept out of poverty because of Social Security.